Posts Tagged ‘Classical Performance and Composition’


Photograph of Seth Parker Woods

Cellist Seth Parker Woods included in Pew Grant

September 14, 2023

Seth Parker Woods, a celebrated cellist and USC Thornton Strings faculty member, was included in a major grant from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, alongside artist Barbara Earl Thomas. As part of a major grant won by the Arthur Ross Gallery, Woods and Thomas will present a new collaborative work for the Philadelphia… Continue reading Cellist Seth Parker Woods included in Pew Grant


Composer and instructor Steve Rothstein smiling and wearing a dark suit.

Steve Rothstein

September 7, 2023

Steve Rothstein is active as a composer, music instructor and lecturer in the Los Angeles area. He received his doctoral degree in Music Composition from the University of California, Los Angeles (2006) where he also completed his master’s and bachelor’s degrees. Rothstein has written numerous works for orchestra, chamber ensembles, wind ensemble, choral groups and… Continue reading Steve Rothstein


Pianist Mikhail Korzhev wearing a dark suit and smiling into the camera.

Mikhail Korzhev

August 23, 2023

Mikhail Korzhev, a pianist who “projects strength, atmosphere and the ability to tangle even the knottiest passages” (International Record Review) is equally active as a solo recitalist, a performer with various chamber groups, a soloist with orchestras and a recording artist. Among his CD recordings is the Complete Piano Concertos of Ernst Krenek in collaboration with English… Continue reading Mikhail Korzhev


Conductor Jacob Sustaita smiling wearing a black shirt.

Jacob Sustaita

August 2, 2023

Jacob Sustaita serves as the assistant conductor for Pacific Symphony, a position he has held since the fall of 2020. Sustaita also serves as music director and conductor for Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra (PSYO), the premier training orchestra of Orange County, recognized as one of the most outstanding youth orchestras in the country. Sustaita is… Continue reading Jacob Sustaita


Music instructor Sara Ballance looking into the camera wearing glasses and standing outside.

Sara Ballance

July 12, 2023

Sara Ballance is an educator and musicologist whose work explores contemporary and historical issues of musical listening. After initially focusing on aural skills education and music cognition, earning degrees in Pedagogy of Music Theory and Brain & Cognitive Sciences, and working as a research assistant in the Eastman Music Cognition Lab, her main interest has… Continue reading Sara Ballance


Portrait of Michael Abels

Michael Abels wins 2023 Pulitzer Prize in Music

May 12, 2023

Michael Abels (’84), an acclaimed composer and USC Thornton Composition program alumnus, has won the 2023 Pulitzer Prize in Music for the opera Omar. Co-composed by Rhiannon Giddens, Omar is a musical work that tells the story of enslaved people brought to North America from Muslim countries. The opera premiered on May 27 at the… Continue reading Michael Abels wins 2023 Pulitzer Prize in Music


A sunset cityscape of Los Angeles with palm trees.

Eight Thornton students and alumni win at 2023 Beverly Hills National Auditions

May 4, 2023

Eight USC Thornton students and alumni were announced as winners of the 2023 Beverly Hills National Auditions (BHNA). BHNA winners will receive performance opportunities at a series of over 40 concerts across Southern California, including Music in the Mansion Festival on the third week of April 2024. Of the 11 winners, eight are from USC… Continue reading Eight Thornton students and alumni win at 2023 Beverly Hills National Auditions


Photo of Derrick Lawrence smiling on an outdoor staircase.

Derrick Lawrence

May 2, 2023

Derrick Lawrence, baritone, has sung roles on the stages of Philadelphia Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Dallas Opera, Charlotte Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Piedmont Opera, Opera North, Zurich Opera House, Budapest, Wiesbaden, Düsseldorf, The Royal Danish Opera, Stuttgart, Luzern, Aachen, Freiburg, Statts Opera Berlin, Kaiserslautern, La Monnaie, Teatro Massimo, Opera Lyon and National Theater Brünn. Lawrence… Continue reading Derrick Lawrence


Photo of Emily Sung smiling outside in the sunlight.

Emily Sung

May 2, 2023

Emily Sung is a Chinese American conductor, scholar and teacher from Lawrenceville, New Jersey. Before her appointment at USC Thornton, Sung previously served as the associate director of Choral Activities at Princeton University, the director of the Chamber Choir and Choral Society at the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the conducting faculty at… Continue reading Emily Sung


Photo of Pardy Minassian

Pardy Minassian finds lost songs in Shoah Foundation archive

November 23, 2022

USC Thornton Classical Guitar program graduate certificate alumna Pardy Minassian was featured on USC Shoah Foundation’s website for discovery of lost Armenian testimonies and songs from the Armenian Genocide. Last year, the Armenian guitarist was awarded a project grant from the Calouste Gyukbenkian Foundation for her multimedia series focused on unpublished Armenian folk songs that… Continue reading Pardy Minassian finds lost songs in Shoah Foundation archive